Re­port: Teams Are Keep­ing Eye on Play­ers Be­fore They Take Drug Tests

The Washington Post Sunday - - Spring Training -

Ma­jor league teams are dis­creetly mon­i­tor­ing play­ers dur­ing the pe­riod be­tween when they are no­ti­fied they must take a drug test and when they pro­vide a urine sam­ple, ac­cord­ing to the New York Times.

The pro­ce­dure was in­sti­tuted in July 2005 and cov­ers a pe­riod that can be up to sev­eral hours, the pa­per re­ported on its Web site last night.

“Play­ers may not be aware they’re un­der ob­ser­va­tion, but we’re watch­ing,” MLB Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Rob Man­fred was quoted as say­ing. “It doesn’t mean we tell them we’re watch­ing.”

Three gen­eral man­agers are mon­i­tors, along with 18 as­sis­tant GMs, 4 vice pres­i­dents and 4 direc­tors of base­ball op­er­a­tions. The ti­tle of the other wasn’t dis­closed.

“There is ab­so­lutely no ev­i­dence that a player sched­uled for a test is left unat­tended for a pe­riod of time that per­mits him to de­feat the pur­poses of the test,” Gene Orza, the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion, was quoted as say­ing in an e-mail mes­sage. “From the mo­ment the player is des­ig­nated for a test, he is un­der ob­ser­va­tion by the team co­or­di­na­tor.”

Gary Wadler of the World An­ti­Dop­ing Agency was crit­i­cal of base­ball’s pro­ce­dures, which al­low play­ers no­ti­fied for test­ing ear­lier in the day up to an hour af­ter that day’s game to pro­vide sam­ples.

“If a guy can’t do it, he comes back in an hour?” Wadler was quoted as say­ing. “Give me a break. They should say that he will be chap­er­oned from the mo­ment of no­ti­fi­ca­tion. It shouldn’t even be 30 sec­onds later.” K RED SOX: Jimmy Rollins is a be­liever in Dice-K and the mys­te­ri­ous gy­roball.

“It’s a funky pitch, it def­i­nitely is,” said Rollins, the Philadel­phia Phillies’ all-star short­stop. “It’s some­thing new in Amer­ica.”

Well, get ready Amer­ica. Here comes Mat­suzaka ma­nia.

Daisuke Mat­suzaka struck out seven over four shaky in­nings and the Bos­ton Red Sox beat the Phillies, 7-5, in Philadel­phia. The Ja­panese star will make his first reg­u­lar sea­son start Thurs­day at Kansas City.

“I didn’t feel par­tic­u­larly ner­vous, but I’m glad I had the op­por­tu­nity to throw in a big league park be­fore the be­gin­ning of the sea­son,” Mat­suzaka said through an in­ter­preter.

He gave up three runs, four walks and two hits. Then he grinned af­ter a lengthy ques­tion was asked in Ja­panese about the start of the sea­son. His two-word an­swer: “I’m ready.” K PI­RATES: In­fielder Freddy Sanchez, last sea­son’s NL bat­ting cham­pion, was placed on the 15day dis­abled list and will miss at least four games.

Sanchez hasn’t played in a ma­jor league spring game since he sprained his right me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment turn­ing a dou­ble play March 6. He played in mi­nor league games Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day, but said his swing still isn’t where he wants it to be. K DI­A­MOND­BACKS: Ari­zona placed pitcher Randy John­son on the 15day dis­abled list.

John­son, who is re­turn­ing from off­sea­son back surgery, is sched­uled to make three mi­nor league starts be­fore join­ing the Di­a­mond­backs’ ro­ta­tion in the third week of April. K TWINS: Joe Mauer re­turned to Min­nesota’s lineup fol­low­ing a leg in­jury, and the Twins com­pleted spring train­ing by beat­ing the Pi­rates, 6-4, in Fort Mey­ers, Fla.

Min­nesota’s catcher had been out since March 22 with a stress re­ac­tion in his left leg, a pre­cur­sor to a stress frac­ture. He hit a three­run dou­ble in the third.

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